Uterine fibroids affect 40% to 80% of women and women at birth (AFAB). And while these non-cancerous growths on your uterus are common, they affect everyone differently. For some, the symptoms may be mild or unnoticed, but for others, they can have a major impact on your daily life.
The Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit educational medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
These benign growths of muscle and connective tissue do not cause concern for themselves – especially if they cause no symptoms. But some women with fibroid have problems that cause significant discomfort. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate these symptoms to make life easier with fibroids.
Some common symptoms of fibroids include:
- Excessive bleeding during your period.
- Coagulation during menstruation.
- Bleeding or spotting between your periods.
- Low back pain.
- Frequent urination and difficulty in urination.
- Chronic vaginal discharge.
- Pain during sex.
In addition, fatigue is a common symptom that you may experience with uterine fibroids. Linda Bradley, MD, women’s health expert at Ob / Gyn, MD, explains why uterine fibroids cause this symptom and what you can do to manage your fatigue.
Why do uterine fibroids cause fatigue?
Fatigue is something many of us experience – but there is a certain reason that you may be dizzy, nauseated, or tired of uterine fibroids. This feeling of fatigue is related to the blood loss you are experiencing due to heavy periods caused by fibroids.
In most cases, some heavy bleeding is expected during your menstrual cycle. However, Dr. Bradley explains that too much bleeding can cause anxiety. It is helpful to know your cycle and how much bleeding you can expect each month.
Some signs that you may be experiencing heavy periods of flow include:
- Need to change pads or tampons every hour.
- Doubling on the pads for extra absorption.
- Menstrual bleeding lasts seven days or more.
- Passing abnormally large blood clots.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to visit your health care provider so you can better understand how to address them. If you suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding from fibroids, you are more likely to have anemia and need to consult your healthcare provider.
If the fatigue and related symptoms you are experiencing are caused by heavy blood loss, you may be at risk for anemia or anemia. Anemia if you do not have enough red blood cells to deliver enough oxygen throughout your body.
There are several types of anemia, but the most common is iron deficiency anemia, which occurs when your iron levels are too low and your body is unable to hemoglobin.
You may be experiencing iron deficiency anemia:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart rate.
- Cravings of unusual inedible food.
How to manage fatigue caused by fibroids and blood loss
If the fatigue you are experiencing is physical rather than psychological, it is most likely caused by anemia with blood loss. The first step to managing this fatigue is to get more iron in your system.
Eat high iron foods
The best way to prevent and alleviate iron deficiency anemia is to adjust your diet. Try to include more iron foods in your daily diet.
“There is a real variety of high-iron foods,” Dr. Says Bradley, so the good news is you won’t be short of options.
Foods with high iron content include:
- The liver.
- Infinite leaven.
- Flax seeds.
Take over-the-counter supplements
Another way to increase your iron levels is to take iron supplements. These supplements do not require a prescription, can be taken before bedtime and are a great way to increase iron levels in your body. You can take more iron supplements every day. Dr. Bradley recommends taking vitamin C because it helps your body absorb iron. You can also try to eat foods that contain high sources of vitamin C, including lemons, strawberries, oranges and broccoli.
Receive iron IV
Another option is to receive iron through an intravenous infusion. This can be indicated by your health care provider if your anemia is more severe. In these cases, you visit your doctor’s office and receive an iron dose through IV. It is usually recommended if you cannot take iron supplements by mouth or if this is an extreme case of anemia.
The goal of this treatment is the same as taking iron supplements. Dr. According to Bradley, once your body starts to get the right amount of iron, your fatigue will decrease with heavy bleeding.
Consider other medical and surgical options
Adding iron to your system through diet and supplements is one of the best ways to help reduce fatigue. However, in some cases, especially when your menstrual bleeding is so severe, iron alone is not enough. However, Dr. Bauer says that it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to find out what all the options are and that heavy bleeding is treatable. Bradley points out.
There are some medications and treatments that can reduce heavy bleeding – and some related symptoms, including fatigue.
Finally, Dr. Bradley emphasizes that your chosen treatment for fibroids should always start with the least aggressive option and depends on a number of factors including:
- The size and location of your fibroids.
- Your desire for pregnancy.
- The number of fibroids you have.
- The severity of your symptoms due to fibroids.
Also, when considering any type of surgery, be sure to speak with a reputable surgeon who has ample experience in the area of uterine fibroids.
Coping with mental stress
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding due to uterine fibroids, this can cause some mental stress and it can be exhausting. For example, you might be interested in monitoring your heavy flow – checking your pad or tampon as often or regularly as you can.
If so, you may want to try one of the newest menstrual products on the market, such as a menstrual cup, which can hold twice the amount of super-absorbent tampons. Or period lingerie, on your own or as a backup to your tampon, can help keep your mind at ease.
“For some women, the quality of their lives is being pressured by the unpredictable nature of their bleeding,” says Dr. Klein. Says Bradley.
If you are experiencing an enormous amount of mental stress because of your period, it is important to talk to your health care provider about the best way to manage these feelings.
In general, when experiencing fatigue related to uterine fibroids, rest assured that there are options available to help you feel more energetic and relaxed. Each case of uterine fibroids is different and unique, so be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the best solution for you.